Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Kelsey Kneisl

When you stop at your local liquor store to pick up a crisp, cold pack of your favorite Third Street Brew, you might not be aware of what goes on behind the scenes to get that beverage from our facilities to your fridge, which is why our team is grateful to have outstanding leaders who help manage all shipments coming to and from our operations. This month, we’re proud to feature a key player from our warehouse team, Kelsey Kneisl!

A Cold Spring native, Kelsey was born and raised in the area and has been working with Cold Spring Brewing Company for the past five years. As the Warehouse Manager of two warehouses, Kelsey has been an integral part of ensuring our shipment process flows smoothly,

“The main part of my role is helping with the receiving, storage and distribution of all supplies, products and raw materials that come in or go out of our facilities,” explained Kelsey. “Providing direction to the warehouse personnel to ensure the most efficient and timely response to all requests from production, customers or other departments of the company. Everything that comes from this warehouse we manage, along with the inventory.”

In a fast-paced, ever-changing environment, Kelsey enjoys seeing how the operations have changed and is curious about what brews are currently “flying off the shelves”.

“Over the past five years that I’ve been here, I find that the warehouse is constantly changing,” said Kelsey. “Every day is fast-paced, one day we might have 160 loads going out and 72 coming in, the next day it might be more! It makes me truly grateful to work with such a great team who helps ensure our warehouse operations run like clockwork.”

As Kelsey looks towards the future of Cold Spring Brewing Company, she anticipates exciting opportunities for growth and development.

“I’m just excited for us to continue to grow,” expressed Kelsey. “Over the past few years we’ve added new products, hit record numbers and consistently proven that we can hit volumes, so I look forward to seeing where the market trends take us. And, of course, the high shipping numbers that correlate with it.”

When Kelsey isn’t busy being a rockstar warehouse manager, she enjoys spending time with her husband and step-daughter, playing sand volleyball with friends in the summer and time off at the lake. Thank you for all you do, Kelsey, cheers!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Sara Braegelmann

At our Cold Spring Brewing Company production floor, it takes a lot of moving parts to ensure each and every batch of our brews are properly packaged, codes are scanned and reports are accurate before our cases get the “green light” to go to market. It takes an outstanding leader to make sure operations run smoothly which is why, this month, we’re raising our glasses to our outstanding production lead, Sara Braegelmann!

Originally from the Cold Spring area, Sara’s journey with Cold Spring Brewing Company began in 2019.

“At the time, I was looking for a more steady job and Cold Spring Brewing Company’s temp service reached out to me,” expressed Sara. “When I started, I was working on the line and learning how to use the machines. Later that year, the production facility acquired new machines which meant they needed employees to provide training – so they offered me a production lead position and I accepted!”

As production lead, Sara is responsible for leading daily meetings with her team, where she discusses how the team performed the day before, assesses any changes that need to be made to production processes and educates on the proper use of equipment and operator safety.

“After our morning meetings, my team heads to the production floor where I communicate with my forklift drivers on where to pull products from,” explained Sara. “Another part of my job involves taking our LPNs – our license plate numbers that tell us what product is which – and scanning reports using the codes. These codes have all the information about our product. I scan our reports at the end of my shift, make sure they are accurate, and send them to inventory and the supervisors, ensuring everyone is informed about what’s going on in the production side of things.”

What does Sara enjoy most about the craft brew biz? The endless opportunities.

“One thing I enjoy most about this business is that there are a lot of opportunities,” said Sara. “I always tell my crew, ‘don’t be afraid if you want to try something new’, if you want to learn a new process or try something new, you have the chance to do that here. There’s plenty of opportunities to move up and I think, with how the company has been expanding, it shows we’re moving in the right direction.”

When she’s not busy leading her team or ensuring our production facilities are operating efficiently, Sara embraces any opportunity she has for adventure.

“In my free time I like to travel, hang out with family and friends, watch sports – especially football and baseball – hike, really anything spontaneous!” expressed Sara.

Thank you for all you do, Sara, cheers to you!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Angela Zumwalde

While we love our barley, hops and malts, the ingredient that makes our craft brews so special is our outstanding employees. Our team is made up of people who love a good challenge and who are passionate about finding the best processes for crafting, batching, packaging and distributing our products. While no two days are the same at the brewery, having strategic leaders who we can trust certainly helps make the operations run smoothly. This month, we’re proud to feature our energetic, fun-loving line lead, Angie Zumwalde as our employee spotlight.

Originally from Richmond, Angie started out as a temp for Cold Spring Brewing Company in. Eventually, she worked her way up the chain to become a skillful and experienced line lead.

“I was fortunate to gain a lot of great experience working as a temp before becoming a line lead,” expressed Angie. “Being a line lead is right up my alley as it consists of creating training documents for machines, working in production operations, capturing data and creating tools to make tasks and processes as easy as possible for other leads and operators.”

Working primarily in the packaging facilities, Angie sees every challenge as an opportunity where she can help streamline processes for others.

“My role changes day to day,” Angie explained. “A lot of assignments and projects are long-term, there are processes that need to be reevaluated for additional clarification, color coding for new machines and updates to the training program that I’ve been writing as well. Overall, my goal is to create a visual association with the operations and make it as simple as possible for the rest of the team. When I walked into the facility and see a machine I’ve never worked with, I look at if from the angle of ‘how can I simplify this?’”

One of the aspects that Angie values most about Cold Spring Brewing Company is the inclusive, family culture.

“The craft brew industry is just like a big, extended family,” Angie said. “One of my favorite things to do is road-trip around the country to different breweries and, no matter where I go, I always try to bring a few cases of our Cold Spring brews to share!”

When asked what she is most excited about for the future of Cold Spring Brewing Company, she can’t wait to dig into the numbers to see how processes have improved from 2020.

“I’m a bit of a nerd for numbers and one of the things I enjoy doing most is data collection,” expressed Angie. “I do a lot of processes in Excel, and I have a full year’s worth of data from the projects we’ve completed in 2020. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we’ve improved processes as we move into a new year.”

If life as a line lead and road-tripping beer connoisseur doesn’t keep Angie busy enough, she is also taking classes to become a vet surgeon at the University of Minnesota in addition to keeping busy on her new 60-acre farm with her rescue dog, Waco. Thank you for all you do, Angie, cheers!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Heather Hallila

In the food and drink industry, it takes a village to ensure all products are compliant with local, state and federal regulations. There are permits that need passing, weekly testing, proper policies and procedures to follow, and more. All this before our tasty brews can be batched and shipped to a liquor store near you! So, who is responsible for getting the compliance ball rolling? Our outstanding Compliance Manager, Heather Hallila of course! This month, we’re raising our glasses to Heather, who is an integral part of ensuring our brewhouse is up to regulatory standards and in tip-top shape.

As compliance manager, Heather prepares audits, files taxes and ensures all our TSB permits and bonds are current. She also works with Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau- regulated alcohol permitting groups and customers on the alcohol approval process, prepares and reviews brewhouse policies and procedures, and audits our internal processes for our production and warehouse facilities. If one thing’s for certain, Heather’s role keeps her busy!

“This summer, I will have been employed with Cold Spring for twenty years,” said Heather. “Before starting my position as Compliance Manager, I previously worked in quality control, customer service, scheduling and planning at the brewery.”

Originally from Buffalo, MN, Heather’s start with Cold Spring began when she started college at St. Cloud State University.

“Attending college at SCSU, I had been to Cold Spring a few times as it was close by. It seemed like a cozy little town, inviting. A place you could settle down,” expressed Heather. “After just finishing college with a degree in Biology and Chemistry, my family and I attended the annual ‘Cold Spring Days’ and made a stop at the brewery to try a few of the beers. I met the president, at the time, and started chatting about if they had any lab positions open. At the time, they didn’t have anyone in the role, so he asked me when I could start. I guess it was fate!”

A craft brew fan herself, it’s no surprise that being part of the innovation which drives our
brewery’s flavors is one of Heather’s favorite perks of the job.

“One of the most interesting things about working in a brewery is seeing how new products and types of drinks are constantly emerging,” said Heather. “New flavors, new ideas, new concepts, it’s exciting to be part of the process.”

When Heather looks at Cold Spring’s future, she sees the potential for growth, looking forward to what the “next big thing” is going to be in the industry.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we grow and evolve, running products that are delicious, innovative, and of course, high-quality,” expressed Heather. “In the twenty years that I’ve worked at the brewery I’ve seen so much change, growth and promise for the future. It’s very exciting and I feel fortunate to be able to grow and change alongside Cold Spring Brewing Company.”

When she’s not busy being a rock star Compliance Manager, Heather loves working on DIY projects around the house, gardening, reading and writing. Cheers to you, Heather!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Ike Anderson

The main ingredient to our stellar beer? Fantastic Minnesota water of course. A lot of work goes into the water production of crafting our high-quality brews; our process requires a number of permits with local and state offices, weekly testing, monthly reports and compliance to ensure our water efficiency and wastewater treatment operations are running smoothly. To handle all-things water-related, there’s no better man to call than our go-to environmental engineer, Ike Anderson!

A Madison, Minnesota native, Ike moved to Saint Cloud, Minnesota in 2007 where he graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a B.S. in General Biology. By 2011, he was seeking a permanent job in the area.

“Originally I applied for a Lab Tech position at the local brewery, while there were no open positions in the lab, I was offered a role in the batching department,” said Ike. “Since then, I’ve had probably eight different job titles in the time I’ve been here, I’ve really moved around a lot within the company. I started working the night shift here in 2011 – a very different time for the Brewery! From 2015 to 2017 I moved to Missouri to court and marry my wife Ali, then we moved back to central Minnesota to have kids.”

Ike’s experience and skills make him a perfect fit for the many responsibilities that come with the environmental engineer’s role. From mechanical troubleshooting to data collection and analysis, to project oversight and working with various government offices to acquire permit compliance, Ike rarely has a slow day.

“I oversee the wastewater treatment plant, which is where our industrial production waste is treated prior to going to the City Municipal Treatment Plant,” explained Ike. “We have a number of permits with local and state offices that require weekly testing and monthly reports, I maintain that compliance for the brewery. I also keep track of a number of water use and water efficiency spreadsheets, consult on water treatment issues that occur on the incoming water side of things and provide technical assistance to management on expansion projects if we find there is going to be a big uptick in water use or waste.”

When asked what he enjoys most about the craft brew industry, Ike loves to share his passion for his role with others.

“It’s always fun to meet new people and when they ask ‘what do you do?’ you get to tell them you work at a brewery!” expressed Ike. “Their eyes light up and the conversation is generally very fun after that, it’s a really relatable opening. Everyone has an opinion, whether they like beer or not, and I think it’s interesting to hear what people have to say. I really enjoy being asked questions about the internal workings of the brewhouse, it’s a fun part of the job.”

What’s Ike looking forward to most when it comes to the future of Cold Spring? The ever increasing expansion opportunities.

“We’ve doubled in size here in Minnesota in the last three years, it’s been non-stop expansions in that time,” said Ike. “I’m excited to refocus and really concentrate on making our ‘new normal’ even more efficient than it is, we have a ton of new systems and most of the focus has just been on getting everything fired up and running. Now is the time to make it work even better.”

When Ike isn’t hard at work, he and his wife, Ali, have their hands full with a six-month-old and three-year-old. If he has the chance to sneak away, he enjoys playing video games with college buddies, reading and whatever woodworking project comes his way. Thank you for all you do, Ike! Cheers to you!

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Mat Eischens

The process control supervisor plays a crucial role when it comes to crafting our tasty brews. It requires overseeing plant operations for reverse osmosis (RO) water production, performing daily checks for our refrigerant system, ensuring proper water treatment of our cooling towers and a host of other technical responsibilities that all work to ensure a high-quality product from facility to fridge.

Lucky for us, we have just the man for the job.

Mat Eischens has been with Cold Spring Brewing Company for the past 14 years. A Cold Spring, Richmond-area native, Mat first became interested in our up-and-coming brewhouse happenings back in September 2006 – jumping at the chance to apply for one of our fast-paced positions.

“When I first applied to the brewery, they had been growing fast and had plenty of job openings,” explained Mat. “Also, at the time, energy drinks had just started to become very popular and with the brewery producing them, I thought it would be a great opportunity to break into a trending market.”

As process control supervisor, Mat oversees multiple brewhouse operations for our Plant A and Plant B facilities.

“My day-to-day consists of overseeing operations for the water treatment of our cooling towers, ensuring proper RO water production, helping out with the daily rounds for our refrigerant system, inspecting our pasteurizer and boiler room operations, and assisting with daily checks on our treatment plants,” said Mat. “My role is mainly to make sure that everything is functioning properly – after all, no one thinks about water until there is none!”

When asked about the most interesting aspect of working in the brewing industry, Mat said that he enjoys seeing how it is evolving and looks forward to seeing where it will go.

“I like working in the high speed environment of a brewery,” expressed Mat. “I also enjoy seeing how the industry is constantly adapting depending on new market trends.”

When Mat isn’t busy at the brewhouse, he enjoys hunting, ice fishing, golfing, watching racing and hanging out with his wife Lori and their kids Landon and Maya. Cheers to you and thank you for all you do, Mat!

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program

I think we can all agree that clean water = great beer. That’s why we are happy to announce yet another Minnesota Water Quality Certified farmer! Through our partnership with Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District, every farm that gets the water quality certification also receives a Minnesota Gold 16 oz. 12 pack and a Minnesota Gold tin sign.

McAndrews Dairy LLC, consisting of Joe, Betty, Michael, and Kate, from Sauk Centre, recently became water quality certified through the MN Ag Water Quality Certification Program. Over the past few years, they have made upgrades to their manure storage facilities, which has allowed them to more efficiently utilize the manure generated from their 400-cow dairy. They are also utilizing no-till planting and cover crops in their cropping system to reduce the potential for runoff and leaching of nutrients and sediment to water resources. To become certified, they agreed to install alternative tile inlets on all open tile inlets to further improve water quality. Thank you for all you do to support this clean water initiative, McAndrews Dairy, and congratulations on the certification!

From left to right: Dennis Fuchs, Stearns County SWCD Administrator, Michael McAndrews, and Mark Lefebvre, SWCD Nutrient Management Specialist

Cold Spring Brewing Employee Spotlight – Linda Heinen

Here at Cold Spring Brewing Company, we strive to ensure that each and every batch of brew tastes perfect before they hit the market. That’s why, this month, we’re raising our glasses to our Brewhouse Quality Control Technician, Linda Heinen! Linda works hard to ensure our brews are crafted to perfection before they are packaged up and shipped out to liquor stores.

As the quality control technician, Linda is one of the last people to verify the product is ready to send out to the customer. Her technical role assures that the brews being produced are crafted with exceptional quality.

“I test the fermentation tanks for alcohol content and other specifications, plate for microorganisms and calibrate any equipment we use,” explained Linda. “My role ensures each batch of brew complies with quality standards and the microbiology of the beer is fit for market, so our customers can expect a high-quality product every time.”

Born and raised in Cold Spring, Linda graduated from Rocori High School and later went on to graduate from St. Cloud State University. Looking to stay in the area, Linda was seeking local work when she stumbled upon Cold Spring Brewing Company.

“I was familiar with Cold Spring Brewing Company and I thought it would be a good fit,” said Linda. “I’ve been in quality control from the start, first working in the production quality control lab and now I’ve recently made the switch to the brewhouse quality control technician role.”

Linda has been with the company for nine and a half years – so if you’ve had one of our brews in the past nine years, you can thank her for helping your Third Street favorites make it from final quality check to your glass!

When asked about the most interesting aspect of the brewing industry, Linda said she likes the pace and how the craft brew industry is evolving.

“Even though I’ve been in this business for a while, I’m still learning new and interesting things about the industry!” said Linda. “I like how things are constantly changing.”

When Linda isn’t hard at work making sure all of our brews are of the utmost quality, she enjoys spending her free time like any true Minnesotan – being outdoors. Whether it’s traveling, camping, hiking or biking, Linda makes sure to find time to get outside whenever she can.

Cheers to you, Linda!

Minnesota Ag Water Quality Certification Program

We are happy to announce another Minnesota Water Quality Certified farmer! We partner with the Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District and every farmer that gets water quality certified receives a Minnesota Gold 12pk and a Minnesota Gold tin sign. Clean water = great beer!

Luverne and Mary Jo Forbord own and operate Prairie Horizons Farm LLC and became Ag Water Quality Certified in June 2020. Luverne grew up on the farm which has been Certified Organic since 2006. The farm covers 480 acres of perennial pastures and is home to about 150 rotationally grazed Angus cattle. Over 300 acres of row crop acres have been converted to perennial pastures using diverse mixes of warm and cool season grasses, legumes and native forbs. About 100 acres of native prairie is also managed as part of the Forbord’s rotational grazing system.

Prairie Horizons Farm LLC sells USDA Certified Grass-fed Beef from Certified Organic Pastures and a variety of Certified Organic fruits, vegetables and other farm products directly to customers through their on-farm store. Farm tours are available by appointment.

Certified Organic Fruits, Hazelnuts, Garlic & Grass-fed Beef
31008 State Hwy 29 Benson MN (GPS location)
Follow us on Facebook for Farm Store Hours and Events

[Pictured left to right; Grant Pearson Stearns SWCD Certifier and Luverne Forbord.]

Cold Spring Brewing Co. Employee Spotlight – Mitchell Schramel

Every time you open one of our beverages and it has that perfect taste, you can thank our outstanding quality control folks! Mitchell Schramel, our night shift quality control supervisor, makes sure Cold Spring Brewing Company supplies nothing but the best.

Mitchell is a Cold Spring native and has a strong passion for the area. His adventurous personality led him to Duluth, MN for college where he double majored in biology and biochemistry (smarty pants alert!!). He eventually found his way back home, where he decided he wanted to become a member of the Cold Spring Brewing family.

“Originally, I had no idea what working at Cold Spring Brewing would be like – I just thought it sounded really interesting,” says Mitchell. “Five years later, I’m still learning new things about working at a brewery.”

As night shift quality manager, Mitchell’s responsibilities include reviewing quality control department documents, working with customers on resolving quality issues and ensuring that the quality control department remains in tip-top shape.

“I really enjoy working at Cold Spring because things are always changing and I get the opportunity to continue to learn,” says Mitchell. “I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the fifth line up and running and the new warehouse that is in progress.”

When Mitchell is out of the office, he can be found fishing, hiking and breathing in the fresh air of Minnesota’s great outdoors. Thank you for all you do, Mitchell, cheers to you!